Statement on the Missing Children of the Kamloops Indian Residential School

 

The School of Information is deeply saddened to learn of the recent discovery of 215 children in an unmarked burial site on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The shocking discovery highlights the profound impact of the Residential School system on generations of Indigenous Peoples, up to the present. Our thoughts are with the families, the communities, residential school survivors, intergenerational survivors, and all who mourn.

 

There is still much work to do to ensure the records of the residential school system are made available to communities who are seeking answers. As a school whose students will be the next generations of librarians and archivists, we acknowledge the importance of the goals connecting these professions, as identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: the right of Indigenous Peoples to know the truth about the violations that happened in residential schools; making records accessible publicly; and supporting the creation of materials for public education. The discovery in Kamloops reiterates that UBC iSchool and other Information Schools in Canada have the responsibility to instill these goals in their students and the professions they are part of.

 

Resources

The discovery at Kamloops Indian Residential School will surface the ongoing traumatic harm of the residential school system for those in the iSchool community who are intergenerational survivors of this colonial system. Supports and resources are available:

 

  • The Hope for Wellness Help Line is open to all Indigenous Peoples across Canada, and offers 24-hour mental health counselling, via phone 1-855-242-3310 or chat Line: https://chat.fn-i-hopeforewellness.ca/

    Call 310-6789 (no area code needed) toll-free anywhere in BC to access emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health and substance use issues. Available 24 hours a day.

 

  • KUUS-US: The KUU-US Crisis Line Society operates a 24-hour provincial Aboriginal Crisis line for: adults, elders and youth https://www.kuu-uscrisisline.ca/

    Adult/Elder Crisis Line: 250-723-4050
    Child/Youth Crisis Line: 250-723-2040
    BC Wide Toll Free: 1800-KUU-US17 (1800-588-8717)
    Métis Crisis Line BC Toll Free: 1833-MétisBC (1833-638-4722)

 

  • The Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) provides essential services to Residential School Survivors, their families, and to those dealing with intergenerational trauma. Call toll free: 1-800-721-0066.

 

  • The First Nations Health Authority Mental Wellness & Counselling Support offers a list of providers registered with health benefits at www.fnha.ca/benefits/mental-health or call 1-855-550-5454

 

  • Student Counselling Services (24/7)

    UBC Student Assistance Program (SAP) 1 833 590 1328 (In North America) 1 604 757 9734 (Outside North America) UBC student community counselling service – immediate and short term counselling
    Here2Talk 1.877.857.3397  BC post-secondary student counselling service – single session

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